News New Central Bohemia governor elected

27-06-2014 12:11 | Jan Richter

The regional assembly of the Central Bohemian region on Friday elected Social Democrat MP Miloš Petera the region’s new governor. Mr Petera succeeds party colleague Josef Řihák who stepped down on Monday over disputes within the Social Democrat group in Central Bohemia. Mr Petera, who has served as deputy governor, said he would give up his seat in the lower house of Parliament to be able to fully dedicate himself to his duties. Opposition councillors from the Civic Democrat and TOP 09 parties criticized the result of Friday’s vote, and said they wanted to know the real reasons behind the previous governor’s resignation.

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Police detain Klinika activists following renewed clashes over social centre

25-05-2016 12:25 | Chris Johnstone

Police detained 16 activists from the Klinika social centre in Prague on Tuesday night after they refused to quit the centre. Police returned to the former clinic reoccupied by activists who have turned it into a social centre after a bomb alert. A similar alert sparked clashes between the police and activists on Friday. Police then turned the empty buildings formerly used as a clinic over to the state authority which owns them but activists later returned with the intention of reopening the centre. An original rental agreement between the state agency and activists expired in March. 

Jiří Rusnok appointed as next governor of Czech National Bank

25-05-2016 12:24 | Chris Johnstone

Czech President Miloš Zeman appointed former caretaker prime minister and minister of finance Jiří Rusnok as the next governor of the Czech National Bank. Rusnok, already a member of the central bank board, will take over from Miroslav Singer whose mandate officially ends in June. Zeman pointed the policy differences with Rusnok over the current low crown policy but pointed out that he had been appointed for his expert and practical public and professional experience. Zeman has called for an ending of the low crown policy as soon as possible while the central bank sees it continuing until at least mid-2017. 

Norwegian court begins hearing on appeal of Czech mother Eva Michaláková

25-05-2016 12:23 | Chris Johnstone

A Norwegian court on Wednesday started proceedings regarding the appeal of Czech mother Eva Michaláková against the removal of her parental rights and moves to put one of her two sons up for adoption. The fate of her 10 and eight year old sons has become a major media and political issue in the Czech Republic with past interventions by head of state Miloš Zeman and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two children were taken into care by Norwegian social services five years ago following suspicions of abuse. Michaláková is seeking to get her sons returned. The court hearing is expected to last until Friday. 

Interpol interested in Czech system tracking criminals' drug compression techniques

25-05-2016 09:20 updated | Ian Willoughby

Interpol are interested in using a unique database created by Czech police that compares methods of wrapping illegal drugs with similar cases around the world, reported on Wednesday. The system, named Reliéf, tracks the impressions made by machines compressing drugs into small packages, helping investigators to detect what mafia groups are behind particular cases of smuggling, the news website said. 

CT: Interior Ministry to set up team to monitor foreign propaganda

25-05-2016 09:12 | Ian Willoughby

The Ministry of the Interior is to set up a special team to monitor foreign propaganda, Czech Television reported on Wednesday. The group, comprising around 30 people, will be tasked with curbing the influence of Russia and other states on media and social networks in the Czech Republic. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told the broadcaster that it was necessary to react to such propaganda and to at least be aware of what direction such activities were taking. 

Berdych advances in Paris while Štěpánek gives Murray tough match

24-05-2016 16:55 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech Republic’s Tomáš Berdych has reached the second round at the French Open in Paris. The seventh seed advanced after beating Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-3 6-2 6-1 on Tuesday. His compatriot Radek Štěpánek, who was a qualifier at Roland Garros, led Andy Murray 2:0 on sets but – despite at one stage finding himself two points from victory – was eventually defeated in five. 

Sobotka outlines plan for rise in minimum wage

24-05-2016 16:09 | Ian Willoughby

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is to send a proposal to the government to increase the minimum wage in the Czech Republic from next year, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told a gathering of trade union leaders on Tuesday. The plan envisages a rise from the current figure of CZK 9,900 a month to CZK 11,000 at the start of January. While the unions would like an increase of CZK 1,500 from the present level, employers say they regard a rise of CZK 600 or CZK 700 as realistic. 

Czech driver arrested in UK after 28 migrants found in truck

24-05-2016 14:10 | Ian Willoughby

A Czech truck driver has been arrested in the UK after 28 illegal immigrants from Africa were found in a hidden compartment in the trailer of his vehicle. The driver, who is 61, was detained by police in Portsmouth before being released on bail, The Daily Telegraph reported. The arrest took place in an industrial zone around eight kilometres from the port in the city on England’s south coast. One of the migrants had to be taken to hospital with acute health problems. The driver could face a fine or jail term. 

Zeman testifies in court case involving ex-lawyer for Social Democrats

24-05-2016 12:57 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, has appeared as a witness in a Prague court over a dispute involving the headquarters of the Social Democrats. Former notary Václav Halbich is demanding CZK 17 million from the president’s former party for legal services in their successful bid to get their HQ back in the 1990s. However, Mr. Zeman testified on Tuesday that the Social Democrats’ only partner in the matter was lawyer Zdeněk Altner. The president, who is known for his witticisms, said he had been familiar with their contract with Mr. Altner as he was not yet “suffering from dementia” at that time. 

Prague Writers’ Festival to welcome Coetzee and Palahniuk

24-05-2016 11:32 | Ian Willoughby

The 26th Prague Writers’ Festival will welcome the South African writer J.M. Coetzee and US novelist Chuck Palahniuk, organisers announced on Tuesday. The theme of this year’s festival, which takes place in October, is crime and punishment. Other scheduled guests include Egyptian poet Mohamed El-Baaly and Yan Lianke, a Chinese writer and recipient of the 2014 Franz Kafka Prize. 


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